Coronavirus Days--Week 16

This afternoon, before reading the Sunday New York Times, I went to arrange the sections in my preferred order. Even though I know the Travel section has been awol for months (it's on pause), instinct rules, and I looked for it, since that was always the section on top, my favorite. I read about places previously visited, places on my calendar for the future, tips for places I might one day visit. Dreams. Those once began my Sunday reading. The book review followed. Today, it felt slim. Slimmer than past weeks. Perhaps the holiday weekend. Perhaps the delays in publishing schedules. The Arts and Leisure section followed, which I mostly skim these days, since there are rarely reviews of upcoming films, no previews of upcoming art exhibitions that I might imagine traveling to see, no listings of current Broadway shows to peruse and plan on for a future NYC trip. Changes. Sometimes I get sad. Sometimes I accept. A type of surrender to these timesthataredifferent.

New vistas help. This was a week for that. A long overdue project has been to clean out my bookcases holding books slanted and stuffed in all directions. I wondered if people wondered about the disarray when I participated in webex and zoom calls starring the bookcase as the backdrop. I couldn't find books easily. I didn't know where to just pull a book off the shelf for inspiration, my piles of new poetry books stacked in all directions, most spines obscured.  Time for a change. And so I set to work. Decided which books/authors I might ever really re-read (Gunter Grass--no. Thomas Mann--yes). Did I need that aging paperback, yellowed and with tiny print? I made piles to alphabetize (only for fiction). Piles to move to a bookshelf of unread books. And piles to donate.

Thanks to Book Give and a simple donation process, I drove northwest on Tuesday, late morning, headed to a different neighborhood. I passed streets that weren't in my daily repertoire of walking, and for that moment, I felt like I had left town, even if it was only twenty minutes away. The Berkeley neighborhood held two lakes for possible exploration; I chose Berkeley Lake, based on Nan's recommendation, and set out for a leisurely mile plus wander, looking towards the mountains, gazing into the reeds along the lake, spotting birds I couldn't name. Happy to be in a different environment, even with the city as her backdrop. Nature.

Berkeley Lake looking towards the mountains

Other new vistas for the week: a dental cleaning overdue by several months, a delicious take-out dinner from Olivia, moving my desk to the basement, physically distanced short masked visits from porches with two close friends I hadn't seen for months. Needed changes during these coronavirus days.


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